There are different forms of communication in the United Kingdom that require licensing before application and use. These include all forms of radio communications such as the amature radios, ship radios, and business radios; under which the category of walkie talkies falls. The Office of Communications (OFCOM) is the national regulatory body charged with the role of licensing the different radio transmissions. There does, however, remain various questions about these licences, emanating from short range frequency transmission devices such as the walkie-talkies.

Why are they licensed?

The primary reason behind walkie talkie licensing is to enable OFCOM to adequately regulate radio signals transmitted in the same region. Licensing allows OFCOM chance to familiarise itself with the different frequency transmitters from a particular area and assign them frequency lines accordingly. With licensed walkie talkies, it becomes easier to control different transmissions falling on the same lines especially in times of disaster or other emergencies.

Can one operate an unlicensed walkie talkie?

Yes. The regulations governing the formation and operations of OFCOM clearly state the different types of radio transmitters that require a walkie talkie licence. OFCOM classifies walkie talkies into two distinct sets in which one requires licensing while the other doesn't. Unlicensed walkie talkies are mainly the low powered radios with limited transmission capabilities. OFCOM defines these as handheld radio devices with a set of eight frequencies operating on the UHF band. The unlicensed devices must also have a power output of fewer than 0.5 watts. Any other device not falling within this device classification must have a walkie talkie licence issued by OFCOM. In the United Kingdom, most walkie talkie devices have a power output of between four and five watts.

Different types of licences available for walkie talkies

There are different types of licences for these hand-held radio devices. However, the most common are the UK Simple Licence and the Technically Assigned Geographical Licence. The UK Simple licence is mostly used by some of the powerful radios operating in the United Kingdom. This set of frequencies is usually shared by all the users and is the only option for any business in need of radio services anywhere in the UK. The assigned geographical licence on the other hand is not shared and accords the licence holder the entitlement to a particular radio frequency. The only limitation to this licence is that it is only applicable to a limited geographical space.

Benefits of licensed walkie talkies

Apart from ensuring that your business complies with the national regulations regarding radio communications, licensed walkie talkies also ensure that you enjoy non-disrupted communication. Licensed walkie talkies, especially the technically assigned licensing assure an uninterrupted communication flow as it is transmitted over a dedicated frequency path.

Licensed walkie talkies offer tremendous benefits not just to the authorities but also to the individuals and businesses using them. Licensing ensures proper frequency allocation that limits collisions, an important factor in the case of emergencies. The different types of licensing available also make it possible for the users to choose the mode that best suits their communication needs.